Tricks and Traps in the Opening QID

A couple of weeks ago when browsing through the live tournaments I bumped into this short game played by a former teammate of mine.
The Queens Indian Defense has a reputation of very solid opening, especially from White's perspective.
Still miniatures are possible and one should be very careful not to violate the opening principles. In particular- to try and hide his/her king as quick as possible.


Modern Chess 2

As I promised you a month ago, here comes the second part of the wonderful course by GM Gavrikov about the isolated pawn for "Modern Chess".
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We now continue with the typical plans for the side owing the isolani:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Nottingham"]
[Site "Nottingham"]
[Date "1936.08.25"]
[Round "13"]
[White "Botvinnik, Mikhail"]
[Black "Vidmar, Milan Sr"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D40"]
[Annotator "GM Viktor Gavrikov"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "1936.08.10"]
[EventRounds "15"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

{2) Advance of the "f" pawn The advance of the "f" pawn is another standard
approach in positions with an isolated queen's pawn. In order to make easier
the understanding of this idea, I can make a parallel with the knight
sacrifice on "f7" which was examined in our previous article. As some of you
may recall, there are three necessary condition to make a knight sacrifice on
"f7" - White's white-squared bishop must be on the "a2 - g8" diagonal, Black's
white-squared bishop must not be on the "c8 - h3" diagonal and there must be a
considerable pressure along the "e" file. However, sometimes only the first
two conditions are met ( very often the rook is not on "e1", but on "f1"). In
such situations, the side which plays with "isolani" can't sacrifice his
knight on "f7", because there are is no pressure allong the "e" file. In this
type of positions, the idea to advance the "f" pawn by f2-f4-f5 becomes very
attractive. This idea has two main goals: - activate the rook on "f1" - weaken
the "a2-g8" diagonal On of the biggest advocates of the plan connected with
the "f" pawn advance is the creator of the Soviet chess school, the World
champion Mikhail Botvinnik. As an example, I am going to examine one of his
games in which he executed the abovementioned plan in a very instructive
manner.} 1. c4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nc3 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Bd3
c5 8. O-O cxd4 9. exd4 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nb6 11. Bb3 Bd7 12. Qd3 {[%cal Ga1d1,
Gf3e5,Gd3h3,Gb3c2] Diagram [#] Mikhail Botvinnik goes for his favourite plan
in such kind of positions - Ne5, Bc2 and Qh3. Black has to be very precise, in
order not to find himself in a big trouble.} Nbd5 {It's understandable that
Black want's to block the "d4" pawn as soon as possible. However, his last
move is not flexible enoughe, because by playing in this way, he shows his
cards too early. Now, nothing can stop White from building his attack on the
kingside.} ({Black could have tried the move} 12... Bc6 {, but even in this
case, he doesn't manage to solve his problems. Let's see how the game could
continue:} 13. Bc2 g6 14. Ne5 Rc8 15. Rad1 a6 16. Rfe1 Nbd5 {Diagram [#]} 17.
Bb3 $1 {A key move! Remember that when your opponent closes the "b1 - h7"
diagonal by means of g7-g6, your light-squared bishop must be relocated to the
"a2 - g8" diagonal.} b5 18. Qh3 {[%cal Gg5h6,Ge5f7] Diagram [#] The queen
occupies it's optimal position. Now, as you can easily see, all the conditions
for a knight sacrifice on "f7" are met - White's light-squared bishop is
situated on the important "a2 - g8" diagonal, while Black's light-squared
bishop is not on the diagonal "c8 - h3". Moreover, the pressure along the "e"
file is very strong. Now, white is threatening to play 19.Bh6 followed by N:f7
and Q:e6. Here, I would like to bring to your attention some possible lines
which illustrate White's attacking ressources in such kind of positions.} Qd6 {
This move is designed to parry White's direct threats. Even though, given the
fact that White is ahead in development and his peaces are more active, he
could go for a symmetrical pawn structure. Also, the weakened Black's kingside
favours this transition.} ({The move} 18... Bb7 $2 {loses on the spot, because
of} 19. Bh6 Re8 $140 20. Nxf7 $18) ({Now, after the careless} 18... Nxc3 $2 19.
bxc3 Bd5 20. Bh6 Re8 {White has at his disposal an original mating idea:} 21.
Nxf7 $1 Kxf7 $140 $2 22. Qxe6+ Bxe6 23. Bxe6# {Diagram [#]}) 19. Nxc6 Rxc6 20.
Nxd5 exd5 (20... Nxd5 $2 21. Bxd5) 21. Re5 {White has a pair of bishops,
controls the open "e" file and exercises a considerable pressure against the
weak "d5" pawn. His advantage is undisputable.}) ({The move} 12... Nfd5 {
is clearly better. Black tries to exchange as much pieces as possible.}) 13.
Ne5 Bc6 14. Rad1 Nb4 ({Even in this position, Black could have tried to
provoke some exchanges, but White is still able to go for a favourable version
of the symmetrical pawn structure:} 14... Nh5 15. Bxd5 Bxd5 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17.
Nxd5 exd5 18. Rfe1 $14 {Diagram [#] Diagram [#] Despite of the simplifications,
white retains some edge due to the activity of his peaces.}) 15. Qh3 Bd5 ({
Now, the move} 15... Nfd5 {could be met by} 16. Bc1 {Diagram [#] In this
position, the awkwardly placed "Nb4" makes Black's life difficult. At the same
time, White is very well prepared for the advance of his "f" pawn - he
controls the "a2 - g8" diagonal, whereas Black's light-squared bishop is not
on the "c8-h3" diagonal.}) 16. Nxd5 Nbxd5 {Diagram [#] Diagram [#] The
exchange of the light-squared bishops always favours white. It's important to
point out that when black's light-squared bishop is not on the board, the
advance of the "f" pawn becomes much more dangerous, because after the
weakening} 17. f4 $1 {Diagram [#] Now, the f4-f5 threat becomes obvious.} Rc8 (
{The move} 17... g6 $2 {Loses on the spot, because of} 18. Bh6 Re8 19. Ba4 $18)
({White is winning effectively.} 17... Ne4 $2 18. Nxf7 $1 Kxf7 (18... Rxf7 19.
Qxe6 $18) 19. Rde1 $18) 18. f5 exf5 $2 {After this move, White's attack is
unstoppable.} ({Even though, their position is already very difficult, Black
should have played} 18... Qd6 $16) 19. Rxf5 Qd6 $2 {Last mistake in a
difficult position. However, we can hardly come up with a better suggestion.} (
19... Rc7 20. Rdf1 a6 $140 $2 (20... Nb6 21. Be3 (21. Qh4) 21... Qd6 $140 $2
22. Qg3 $18 {[%cal Ge3h6] Diagram [#]}) 21. Nxf7 $1 Rxf7 22. Bxd5 Nxd5 23. Rxf7
Bxg5 24. Qe6 $18) 20. Nxf7 $1 {Diagram [#] After this effective strike, the
game is over.} Rxf7 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 (21... Nxf6 22. Rxf6 $18 {[%cal Gh3c8]
Diagram [#]}) 22. Rxd5 Qc6 23. Rd6 Qe8 24. Rd7 1-0

The next plan is the advance of the "h" pawn:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "URS-ch FL"]
[Site "Yerevan"]
[Date "1955.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Kotov, Alexander"]
[Black "Khalilbeili, Sultan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E57"]
[Annotator "GM Viktor Gavrikov"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r1bq1rk1/1p2nppp/p3pb2/8/3PQB2/P4N2/BP3PPP/3R1RK1 w - - 0 17"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "1955.??.??"]
[EventRounds "21"]
[EventCountry "URS"]

{Diagram [#] 3) Advance of the "h" pawn As the reader already knows, when we
play with an isolani, our long-term plan is to launch a kingside attack. In
some positions, however, despite of the fact that our pieces are transferred
to the kingside, we don't manage to create any serious threats against the
opponent's king. Most often, this is explained by the lack of weaknesses in
our opponent's camp. A classical way to deal with a pawn fortress is to strike
with our own pawns. In this line of thoughts, the only pawn that we can
advance, without exposing our king to possible dangers, is the "h" pawn. Very
often this pawn is some kind of "kamikaze" that sacrifices his life in order
to clear the way for the other pieces. It's important to mention that the
march of the "h" pawn is much more effective when our opponeng had already
played the move g7-g6. Generally, we can provoke that advance by putting our
queen and bishop on the "b1 - h7" diagonal. All the typical attacking ideas
connected with the advance of the "h" pawn are perfectly illustrated in the
classical game "Alexander Kotov - Sultan Khalilbeili played in 1955. In the
diagram position, White can't make use of the typical ideas that we have
already examined. Moreover, I don't see a way to increase the pressure created
by our pieces. That's why Kotov decides to go for the advance of his "h" pawn.
} 17. h4 $1 Bd7 18. Bb1 $1 {[%csl Rh7] Diagram [#] Diagram [#] A very precise
move! As I have already mentionned, White tries to provoke the move g7-g6
after which his "h" pawn enters the fight with a great effect.} g6 19. Be5 $1 {
[%csl Yf6,Yf8,Yg7,Yh6,Yh8] Diagram [#] Important idea! After the exchange of
the dark-squared bishops, White can make use of Black's weaknesses. At the
same time, the queen is ready to be transferred to the kingside.} ({Premature
is} 19. h5 {, because Black has at his disposal the natural} Bc6 {and white
queen is forced to go backwards.}) 19... Nd5 20. h5 Qe7 21. Qg4 Rfd8 22. Rfe1 {
White has an obvious pressure - the opposition along the "e" file is very
dangerous and the pawn on "g6" is a critical point.} Rac8 23. Nd2 {White goes
for a dubious manoeuvre. He is planning to provoke the exchange of the
dark-squared bishops by means of Ne4, but that threat could be parried quite
easily.} Ba4 24. Rc1 Bg7 $1 {Diagram [#] Diagram [#] Here is the problem! It
becomes clear that to move Ne4 will be met by the simple f7-f5.} 25. Nf3 Be8 $2
{This passive move gives White the possibility to compensate his previous
mistake.} ({More precise was} 25... Rxc1 26. Rxc1 Bb5 $132 {[%cal Gb5e2] With
a counterplay. Black is threatening to play Be2.}) 26. Rxc8 Rxc8 27. Ba2 $1 {
[%cal Ga2d5] Diagram [#] Diagram [#] Just in time! The light-squared bishop
has no work anymore on the "b1 - h7" diagonal. Due to the unprotected position
of Rc8, White is currently threatening to take the knight. The oppoisition
along the "e" file is also very annoying.} Nf6 28. Qh4 Bc6 29. hxg6 hxg6 30.
Ng5 {Diagram [#] A picturesque position! The "h" pawn has completed it's
mission. Now, White's attack is more dangerous than ever.} Bd5 $2 {A mistake
in a very difficult position. However, white can go for rook transfer to the
kingside against pretty much everything.} (30... Re8 31. Re3 $40 {With a
dangerous attack.}) 31. Bxd5 exd5 {White has a fantastic version of the
symmetrical pawn structure. Their attack is unstoppable. I leave the rest of
the game without comments.} 32. Re3 $1 {Diagram [#]} Qd7 ({Or} 32... Qd8 33.
Bxf6 (33. Rf3) 33... Qxf6 34. g3 {[%cal Ge3f3]} Qd6 (34... Qxd4 35. Qh7+ Kf8
36. Rf3 $18) 35. Qh7+ Kf8 36. Nxf7 Kxf7 37. Rf3+ Qf6 38. Rxf6+ Kxf6 39. Qh4+
$18) 33. Bxf6 Bxf6 34. Qh7+ Kf8 35. Ne6+ $1 {Diagram [#]} Qxe6 36. Rxe6 fxe6
37. Qxg6 $18 Ke7 38. Qh7+ Kd6 39. Qxb7 Rc1+ 40. Kh2 Bxd4 41. Qb4+ Bc5 42. Qf4+

There will be part 3 of this article where we shall see what one needs to do when playing against the isolani. Until then, do not forget to use the promo code dbojkov for 15 % discount on any of the products of "Modern Chess".